Plugger Facts

Anthony Howard Lockett was born on the 9th March 1966.
Plugger was recruited by St. Kilda from North Ballarat when he was 17 years old.
He made his A.F.L. debut for St. Kilda in 1983
r Plugger stands 191 centimetres tall and weighs 110 kilograms.
Up to the 6th June 1999, Tony Lockett has played 265 games in the VFL-AFL


 

The mark that lead to the history making 1300th goal came from a perfect pass from team-mate and friend, Paul Kelly.
Lockett was presented with the record-breaking ball which he plans to keep in a safe place.
After the game, Plugger presented the ball used in the rest of the match to Paul Kelly.
Only three players have kicked more than 1200 goals in their careers. Other than Tony Lockett and Gordon Coventry, the other player is Jason Dunstall (Hawthorn).
Tony Lockett never played full-forward until he started with St. Kilda in 1983. Previously, he had played mainly in ruck and centre half forward.


 

Plugger has averaged 4.9 goals per match over his entire career.
In his 5 State appearances, Lockett has booted 19 goals.
In his night series' appearances he has kicked 52 goals in 12 matches.
Over his career, Plugger has been Leading Goal-kicker on four occasions, 1987, 1991, 1996 and 1998.
Over his entire career, Lockett has polled a total of 122 Brownlow Medal votes.


 

During his time at St. Kilda, Plugger kicked 898 goals. At Sydney, he has added another 408 goals.
Lockett's best individual performance was in Round 9 in 1995 when he kicked 16 goals against Fitzroy.
Lockett kicked his record breaking 1300th goal at 12:40 p.m. on Sunday 6th June in front of a crowd of 41 264 fans.
One of Tony's interests outside the hustle and bustle of AFL football is his love of breeding greyhounds.
Tony Lockett's father, Howard, played 500 games of country football.


 

In 1989, Plugger kicked 70 goals in the first nine games, including 12 against West Coast Eagles, only to be suspended for a month for striking Eagle, Guy McKenna.
In 1987, Tony Lockett became the first full-forward to win the Brownlow Medal.
Lockett kicked 10 goals or more in a game 22 times (VFL-AFL record).
In 1992, Tony kicked 10 goals or more  in a match six times (Also a VFL-AFL record).
Gordon Coventry kicked his 1299 goals in 306 games at an average of 4.25 goals per game.


 

Some things never change.  By his side after the historic match was the tattered Adidas bag he has carried to every game since he began with the Saints as a shy seventeen year old.
Lockett said that his dream for life after football, which may or may not come next year, was to take a year off and drive around Australia with his family.
After missing the first six games of the 1991 season, Lockett booted 34 goals in Rounds Seven, Eight and Nine (twelve, ten and twelve respectively).
This equalled one of legendary Bob Pratt's longstanding records.
In the Round Seven game against the Adelaide Crows at Moorabin, he kicked nine goals in the opening hour, and had a tenth before half time, but it was disallowed.


 

After his successful but wobbly shot for goal, there was a delay of fifteen minutes due to a ground invasion by three thousand supporters.
Security staff, and his Sydney team-mates formed a protective barrier around Plugger during the chaotic ground invasion.
It was suggested to Tony after the game that he might even be on the same lofty level as the cricket legend Sir Donald Bradman, and the famous Australian race horse, Phar Lap.
That, of course, was way over the top and Lockett quickly dismissed it as such, saying he thought both "had a few lengths on me."
Lockett then realised the unintended irony in the cliche and added whilst grinning: "...especially Phar Lap!"


 

"Not only was Collingwood Gordon Coventry's club but it has always epitomised the old VFL, while Sydney was the first of the interstate clubs which now make up the new-age AFL.  Lockett bridges those two eras and has been a key factor in making national football work, so this was the day and the place for him to scale his mountain."
Ron Reed, Journalist
After missing a previous shot for his 1300th goal, Lockett was worried he might miss again from a similar spot.  He didn't, but he described it as: "A shocking kick, absolutely terrible, that just floated through."
Lockett then added: "If you're going to duff them, you might as well duff them straight."
Lockett rarely shows his emotions in public. However, after the game, as he was driven around the ground on a lap of honour with his wife and two daughters he looked as close to tears as he has ever been in public.
He confessed afterwards that he was overawed by the whole occasion.  He spoke of the honour and the privilege, the passion and the pride - and you knew that he meant it deeply.

 

 

 

History is Made

On Sunday June 6th 1999, history was made at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Tony "Plugger" Lockett entered the record books as the highest goal scorer in V.F.L./A.F.L. history. When Lockett scored his third goal in the game between Sydney and Collingwood, he notched up his 1300th career goal and eclipsed the 62 year-old  record held by Collingwood's Gordon Coventry. The goal came after the siren sounded to end the first quarter.
Sports Card World recognises this outstanding feat and presents this page as a tribute to one of greatest players to have played Australian Rules Football.

From the Beginning

Anthony Howard "Plugger" Lockett was recruited by St. Kilda from North Ballarat in 1983, soon after his 17th birthday. His coach, Tony Jewell, played him in defence for a brief period before he took over at full-forward.

His enormous potential was confirmed in the opening game of the 1984 season when he booted seven goals against Essendon. He kicked 77 for the year to win the Club's Leading Goal-kicker Award for the first time.

After kicking 117 goals in 1987, Plugger was to win the game's highest individual award, the Brownlow Medal. He tied for the honour with Hawthorn's John Platten. Lockett also won the John Coleman Medal for the first time in 1987.

Plugger was becoming a national sporting hero not only for thousands of St. Kilda supporters, but also for football fans all over the country.

After his Brownlow and Coleman successes in 1987, Lockett's next four seasons were severely interrupted by either injury or suspension.
In 1981, he won the Coleman Medal again, despite missing the first third of the season because of a badly bruised back. In 17 games, he booted 127 goals at a staggering average of more than seven goals a game.
Lockett was beginning to show his true class!

In 1992, he kicked 132 goals, a new personal high, including 15 against Sydney and 12 against Brisbane.
In mid-career, Lockett increased his bulk and already considerable physical power to become every full-back's most dreaded nightmare! His quick leading, sticky-fingered marking and pinpoint drop punts resulted in him heading St. Kilda goal-kicking in eight of his first nine seasons.

In 1995, Plugger's career took an unexpected turn when he transferred from St. Kilda to the Sydney Swans. He was to have a dramatic and profound affect on the popularity of Australian Rules in the Rugby dominated city of Sydney. Match attendances grew and "Pluggermania" began to take over the town.

The Story in Numbers

Lockett's Season-by-Season Goal-kicking Record  (To 6/6/99)

Season

Club

Games

Goals

Ave

Best Performance

1983 St. Kilda 12 19 1.6 5 vs Richmond
1984 St. Kilda 20 77 3.9 7 (Four times)
1985 St. Kilda 21 79 3.8 7 (Two times)
1986 St. Kilda 18 60 3.3 8 vs North
1987 St. Kilda 22 117 5.3 12 vs Melbourne
1988 St. Kilda 8 35 4.4 9 vs Hawthorn
1989 St. Kilda 11 78 7.1 12 vs West Coast
1990 St. Kilda 12 65 5.4 10 vs Footscray
1991 St. Kilda 17 127 7.5 13 vs Carlton
1992 St. Kilda 22 132 6.0 15 vs Sydney
1993 St. Kilda 10 53 5.3 11 vs Brisbane
1994 St. Kilda 10 56 5.6 11 vs Sydney
1995 Sydney 19 110 5.8 16 vs Fitzroy
1996 Sydney 22 121 5.5 12 vs Richmond
1997 Sydney 12 37 3.1 8 vs Bulldogs
1998 Sydney 23 109 4.7 12 vs Port Adelaide
1999 Sydney 6 31 5.1 9 vs Collingwood
Total   265 1306 4.9 16 vs Fitzroy

 

 

Top 10 All-Time Goalkickers (VFL-AFL)

Player Club Years Goals
Tony Lockett St Kilda/Sydney 1984-Present 1306
Gordon Coventry Collingwood 1920-1937 1299
Jason Dunstall Hawthorn 1985-1998 1254
Doug Wade Geelong/Nth Melb 1961-1975 1057
Gary Ablett Hawthorn/Geelong 1982-1997 1030
Jack Titus Richmond 1926-1943 970
Leigh Matthews Hawthorn 1969-1985 915
Peter McKenna Collingwood/Carlton 1965-1977 874
Bernie Quinlan Footscray/Fitzroy 1969-1986 817
Kevin Bartlett Richmond 1965-1983 778

The Comparison

There will always be an argument about who are the best full forwards in the history of Australian Rules Football. A comparison of four of the greatest makes interesting reading.

Tony Lockett

Clubs

St. Kilda, Sydney

Club Goals

1306 in 265

Average

4.9 goals per game

State Goals

19 in 5 matches

Most Goals in a Game

16.0 vs Fitzroy at Whitten Oval 1995

Best Season

132 goals in 1992

Leading Goalkicker

Four times

Lockett kicked 10 goals or more in a game 22 times, including six times in 1992.

 

Gordon Coventry
Club Collingwood
Club Goals 1299 goals in 306 games
Average 4.25 goals per game
State Goals 100 in 25 matches
Most Goals in a Game 17.4 vs Fitzroy at Vic. Pk. in 1930
Best Season 124 goals in 1929
Finals Goals 112 in 31 matches (Record)
Leading Goal-kicker Six Times

Kicked nine goals in 1928 Grand Final (Joint Record)

 

Peter Hudson

Club Hawthorn, New Norfolk, Glenorchy
Club Goals 1677 in 305 games
VFL-AFL Goals 727 goals in 129 games
Average VFL-AFL 5.64 goals per game
State Goals 135 goals for Victoria and Tasmania
Night Series Goals 74 goals
Most Goals in a Game 16.1 vs Melbourne at Glenferrie 1969
Best Season VFL-AFL 150 goals in 1971 (Joint record)
Best Season Tasmania 186 goals for Glenorchy in 1979
Leading Goal-kicker Four times in VFL-AFL

 

Ken Farmer
Club North Adelaide
Club Goals (SANFL) 1419 goals in 224 games
Average 6.33 goals per game
State Goals 81 goals in 18 games
Most Goals in a Game 23.6 goals vs West Torrens in 1940
Best Season (SANFL) 134 goals in 1936
10 or More Goals 37 times in career

Topped SANFL goal-kicking for 11 straight seasons (1930-1940), kicking at least 100 goals in each season.

Individual Honours

Brownlow Medal: 1987 (Tied with John Platten)
Club Best and Fairest:
            
St. Kilda: 1987, 1991
             Sydney: 1995

Club Best and Fairest Runner-up:
            
St. Kilda: 1992
All Australian:
1991, 1992, 1995, 1996
E.J. Whitten Medal:
1995
A.F.L. Players Association M.V.P.:
1987
Coleman Medal:
1987, 1991, 1996, 1998
St. Kilda Leading Goal-kicker:
1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
Sydney Leading Goal-kicker:
1995, 1996, 1997, 1998

What Was Said

"After the third goal, I went up and said to Mal Michael "I'm glad that's over, we can get on with the game now." He congratulated me."
Tony Lockett (after kicking his 1300th goal)

"To get it off Kell, who I hold in the highest regard of almost anyone I've played footy with over the past seventeen years and I couldn't have written it any better than that."
Tony Lockett (on Paul Kelly - Sydney Captain)

"I love the town. It's certainly helped with my football. I've been able to come up here and resurrect my career to an extent."
Tony Lockett (on his move to Sydney)

"It's a monumental feat to kick that many goals and play that long to do it. .... But it's terrific and we're just glad to be a part of it."
Rodney Eade (Sydney Coach)

"It's right up there with my Brownlow Medal and playing in the Grand Final."
Paul Kelly (Sydney Captain, on passing the ball to Lockett)

"I tried to run off him on every occasion that I could but that sometimes was my downfall."
Mal Michael (Lockett's Collingwood Opponent that day)

Summary

A lot has been said and written about Tony Lockett's remarkable achievement. Almost certainly his record will never be broken. Lockett himself said: "The game's changed a fair bit, full forwards don't fly for the spectacular high marks like they used to twenty years ago; you have to play the percentages and do the team things." It is unlikely that current day players will even stay in the game long enough to achieve anywhere near this historical feat.

Sports Card World salutes an Australian Sporting Icon - Tony Lockett.

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